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Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

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Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby Sensei Michael » Sat, 22 Oct 2016 11:57 am

As an educator, my heart breaks when I read such news.

http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore-news/p ... first-time

Such news, while not daily affair, are not uncommon in societies in China, Japan, Korea...and even Singapore. I sure am glad to have parents who were willing to let me develop as a person, rather than breathe down my neck all the time. I made top 10% in the PSLE (a crazy Grade 6 national examinations) and the GCE "O" Levels, before taking an unconventional path of joining the military instead of going to university.

I remember when I used to teach in the Singapore education system, when a student got his Math mid-semester exams paper. It was a tough paper, and he achieved 93%. He cried when he took the paper from me, and told me he would get a caning from his father. I promised to call his father and I did. His father was an understanding man, and understood when I told him it was a tough paper and his son did very well.

It was a sharp contrast to my time in China, when I read of this father who was happy that his son scored above the 70th percentile and took him out for a treat - only to get a call from the class teacher that day complaining that his child was pulling down the class average...in the 95th percentile. He was forced to get extra classes for his son to get the teacher off his back.

When a child decides there is no more reason to live, society has to blame too.
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Re: Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 22 Oct 2016 1:46 pm

^^^This!

Singapore averages 5 to 8 suicides per year due to grades in schools. That's BAD and there should be a lot a parents heads rolling because of it. I don't blame the teachers as the parents push them as well. Parents are killing their own children by pushing them to the exclusion of all else, including that most important thing, the need for a childhood as well. There is sure no "playtime" once you leave school. That's called the Rat Race and they don't need to enter the rat race at the age of 3 or 4 years of age. That's stupidity on the part of the Kiasu Parents.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singapo ... 51371.html

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Re: Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby PNGMK » Sat, 22 Oct 2016 10:28 pm

Read up on neoliberal nihilism. That newspaper title broke my heart too.
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Re: Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby Mad Scientist » Sun, 23 Oct 2016 5:19 am

The very reason why I took my children out of Singapore. From my perspective, my kids are average students at school while they were schooling in Singapore. But only butt and the butt always gets in the way, the school education system pressured us to make forced decision in leaving Singapore.
At primary 3, 5 and 6, they were bombarded with homeworks, extra tuition (which I think is unnecessary) just to keep the school national average standing up and pressured the teachers extra ordinary measure in sometime giving free lesson on Saturday so that the my children does not fall behind. The thing is my children did not failed their grades at any level.
When my sons left for Australia, my eldest was only 28kg at age 11. Within one year schooling here , his weight increased to 40 kg. He slept well , played touch rugby, cricket and excelled well in his studies. So did my other son and my two daughters.
No tuition, no extra homework , we ensured they do their school work and keep on telling them do your best and there are always other means to survive in this world even if they do not get into the Unis.
Now my two sons have done extremely well , One is a PHD holders in Economics from London and another doing his last thesis on Neuro Physics for his doctorate in America.
My two daughters married and have Masters in their bags but preferred to start a family first.
What we realized is some kids excel very fast but will hit a bump before continue to excel.
Some like mine were very late bloomers in education
It is very important to
encourage not forced them ,
rationalize not instutionalise them,
adviced not mocked them and
support not demoralize them if something went pear shaped

Well done Singapore for this mad paper chase syndrome
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Re: Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby x9200 » Sun, 23 Oct 2016 7:58 am

It's not like their were late bloomers, this is just natural across the population. The Singapore way is simply wrong. Every child should be allowed to progress their own way and pace, or at least have some freedom to do it. As SMS wrote above, this is a rat race with no childhood, nothing. Insane, completely unnecessary and what adds to this tragedy of the whole generations, it produces academic excellency only on paper. The products of this education system are just excellent in passing tests and scoring in various rankings.

Real excellency can be developed by encouraging children to explore different knowledge domains by themselves, to boost their natural inquisitiveness and desire to understand how different things work and are. It never works by forcing them to learn subject by subject under constant fear of failure.

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Re: Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 23 Oct 2016 8:21 am

My son is now in Sec 3, I don't know what school the poor boy above went to but I (and he to some extent) never felt pressure to this level. PSLE was not fun but he got into the school he wanted with one mark to spare. For him though the absolute saving grace has been the National Police Cadets - that has given him an outlet he needed.
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Re: Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 23 Oct 2016 10:09 am

I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 23 Oct 2016 11:29 am

Good but frightening and depressing article.

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Re: Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby x9200 » Sun, 23 Oct 2016 12:05 pm

PNGMK wrote:My son is now in Sec 3, I don't know what school the poor boy above went to but I (and he to some extent) never felt pressure to this level. PSLE was not fun but he got into the school he wanted with one mark to spare.

I guess he has parents that are not obsessed with his grades and scores but looks well into his balanced development.

Having said that, it is also hard to harsh blame the local parents. They are just trapped in this vicious circle.

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Re: Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby Mad Scientist » Sun, 23 Oct 2016 1:02 pm

Not only in Singapore. Japan , China whereby students are caught in the rat race too.
I like to share with you the problems that I had with my second son
My children are late bloomers and we only noticed this when they were 16ish.
We were lucky enough as we have set out boundaries for them and they understood these boundaries and its implication of stepping over these boundaries but my second son tends to cross this line often
We never understood why our second son just refused to study and always at logger heads with us when comes to completing his school work. He was obsessed with touch rugby.
I suspected he was doing drugs or something bad so I monitored his movement for a few months.
Lo and behold he was very good at touch rugby but he did not say much when he was at home.
Told his mom and we had a very long chat with him. We told him if this is what you really wants to do, go for it and we will support you. All of a sudden he clicked and came to his senses and wanted to study. Study he did.
Years passed and I asked him a few years ago why did he do what he did and always up in arms with me and his mom. He said, "I just wants to get some attention from you".
For those parents that has children, it is never one size fits all when comes to treating your children.
The most important thing is to listen and listen we must when they come to see you.
Do not use the blame game strategy, it never works
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Re: Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby Sensei Michael » Sun, 23 Oct 2016 10:30 pm

x9200 wrote:I guess he has parents that are not obsessed with his grades and scores but looks well into his balanced development.


We need more parents like these.
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Re: Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby PNGMK » Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:07 am

I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Grade 5 Boy Falls to Death after Failing Exams for the First Time

Postby Mad Scientist » Mon, 24 Oct 2016 2:19 pm

The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!


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